Sun City West
Located just two miles from the original Sun City community, Sun City West exists to expand on the ever-growing demand for top-quality adult and retiree luxury homes. It is located in the town of the same name, about a half hour's drive northwest from Phoenix.
Sun City West actually came into existence in 1978, just as construction in the original Sun City in Arizona was coming to an end. The same famous home design company, Del Webb, was tapped to design and build the new homes that would comprise the Sun City West community.
Today, there are close to 17,000 single-family and attached (townhouses and condominiums) located in Sun City West. The real estate market consists solely of resale homes, which local real estate professionals like Carl Chapman REALTOR and West USA Realty can readily show to interested buyers. The entire community has been designed to offer the same luxuries and amenities as the original Sun City, albeit on a smaller scale.
Still, people who move to Sun City West are not disappointed and, in fact, typically quite pleased with the amenities and conveniences found here. The community itself is restricted to homeowners who are aged 55 and older. It is not gated, as some master-planned golf communities tend to be; however, Sun City West enjoys a notably low crime rate and a safe, peaceful and small town-like environment.
People who choose to move to Sun City West likewise benefit from the affordable home prices. They pay low property taxes, as well as remarkably low fees to the community's homeowners association.
The low property taxes found in Sun City West come courtesy of the community's strategic location in Maricopa County. In fact, it is located in a part of the county that remains unincorporated. There are also no public schools located within Sun City West, which means that homeowners here do not have to pay property taxes solely for public education.
Likewise, property taxes remain low in Sun City West thanks to the volunteer efforts of people who buy homes and live here. Like the original Sun City community, Sun City West prides itself on its large-scale volunteer organization. It makes available numerous volunteer opportunities like:
The volunteers in Sun City West perform services for which the community's homeowners association would otherwise have to hire outside contractors.
Sun City West also encourages residents to get outside of their homes and engage with the community with a host of activities, clubs, and events. Homeowners who live here can find clubs and activities that cater to almost any hobby or interest. Likewise, there are numerous community events, such as holiday celebrations, that are held throughout the year.
Sun City West also organizes group trips to points of interest throughout the state. People who live here can sign up for them and enjoy group discounts on trips to museums, the zoo, and other locations. These group trips, combined with the small-town atmosphere in Sun City West, encourage people to make friends with their neighbors and get to know newcomers who move into the community.
The homes in Sun City West are likewise designed to be comfortable and accommodate the evolving needs of older homeowners and retirees. Many of the homes that make up the community are single-family residences, although there are also condominiums and townhouses to be found here. The median price for a home in Sun City West is $276,000, or around $189 per square foot; however, the prices can actually range from the low $100,000s to the high $600,000s.
These prices fetch homes that sit on half to whole acre lots and have anywhere from two to four bedrooms and just as many bathrooms. Many of the homes, which can range in size from 744 to more than 3400 square feet, also have one and two-car garages, as well as plantation shutters, terra cotta roofs and desert-like landscaping with rocks and succulents.
Other features found in many of the homes for sale in Sun City West include:
The garages that are attached to the homes in Sun City West may feature epoxy flooring. The homes also typically have enclosed backyards with resort-style layouts. They include large covered terraces that are roomy enough for a full outdoor furniture set. The backyards are also large enough to add features like fire pits or an outdoor barbecue or grilling area.
There are also amenities like barbecues and grilling areas located throughout the Sun City West community, which come courtesy of the Sun City West homeowners association, or HOA. The HOA consists of a governing board, as well as a general manager. The governing board, or board of directors, is made up of 10 members, all of whom live in the Sun City West community and are committed to offering residents the best adult and retirement living experience.
Members to the governing board are elected, with elections for two members at a time being held every year. The members serve three-year terms each time they are elected to the board.
The board of directors likewise holds monthly meetings that are open to any homeowner who lives in the Sun City West community. Minutes for the meeting can be found on the HOA's website.
The HOA website is also the place where homeowners can set up individual homeowners accounts that they can then use to pay their HOA fees. The fees that homeowners must pay to the HOA range in price. The average, however, is around $155 per quarter, depending on the size and location of one's home in the community.
The HOA website is also the place where community residents can go to find governing documents for Sun City West. These documents explain in detail the policies for living in the community. They also outline what the responsibilities of Sun City West homeowners are and by what rules they are obligated to abide, particularly when it comes to using shared community amenities or having guests stay for extended periods in their homes.
The Sun City West HOA also maintains and offers the amenities that all homeowners in the community have access to throughout the year. The premier amenities are the seven golf courses that are located throughout Sun City West. These courses are designed to accommodate players of all levels and are meticulously maintained for the enjoyment of all of Sun City West's residents.
Aside from the seven golf courses, however, Sun City West offers four separate recreational facilities where residents can access even more amenities. These facilities are the:
These facilities offer amenities like:
These recreation centers also make available outdoor spaces for lawn bowling, socializing and exercising. There is a community library onsite at the R.H. Johnson recreation center.
There is additionally a dog park within Sun City West where residents can take their dogs for playtime and socializing. The dog park is open throughout the year and does not require that dogs wear a leash. However, residents are reminded to be respectful of other people's pets that are in the park and to maintain control of their dogs at all times.
Finally, parents of school-aged children who live in Sun City West have access to several public schools that are located relatively close to the community. These schools function under the authority of the Peoria Unified School District, which is located in Glendale.
The schools most readily available to Sun City West are Zuni Hills, Kingswood, and Thompson Ranch Elementary Schools, all of which serve kindergarten through eighth-grade students. The high schools include Liberty High School and Valley Vista High School.
The Peoria Unified School District is one of the highest-ranked districts in the state. In fact, the state of Arizona ranks it sixth out of its 115 total districts for overall quality of education. It is ranked 10th for having the best quality of teachers and third for the quality of its sports programs available to students.
Nationally, the Peoria Unified School District gets a grade of A-minus. It achieves an A grade for its teachers, college preparation, and diversity. It gets a grade of B for academics, clubs and activities, and safety.
Arizona state standardized test results show that 48 percent of the district's students are proficient in reading. Fifty-three percent of its students meet the testing standards for mathematics proficiency. The student-to-teacher ratio is 20:1.
Likewise, the Peoria Unified School District has a graduation rate of 95 percent, which puts it ahead of the national average of 85 percent. Students who plan to go to college achieve an average ACT test score of 24, which is higher than the national ACT average score of 20.6.
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